July 2022 Student Spotlight – Zeinah Crawley

During my time as a Certified Medical Coder, I experienced a major shift in my career with the fortune of being downsized. This motivated me to follow my long-term dream in Early Childhood Education. I opened an in-home childcare center, which I owned and operated for eight years.  The opportunity allowed me to help children reach their developmental goals, build relationships with families, and the community.  One of my former students contacted me recently to share that he would be graduating from high school a year early.  It is very rewarding to know I played a role in his education.

My favorite time of the day to spend with the children would be outside and mealtime.  This is when the children’s personalities shine through!  Their faces light up when they are introduced to new foods flavors, textures, and smells.  And I love when they clap, rock, and kick their feet.  Their fine motor, hand eye coordination and pincer skills are also challenged.  When outside they have the space to be free.  They show interest in problem solving and decision-making. Their confidence is challenged when offered to play on a new climbing toy, and their social skills blossom when playing alongside peers and exploring the world around them.

What motivates me to work with children is knowing I played a part in making a difference in someone’s life.  I believe teachers can change the world one child at a time.  Children are the world of tomorrow when nurtured, shown trust, given guidance and have someone who believes in them.  Children can change the world!

I currently live in South Carolina and spend most of my time with my adorable grandchildren, family, and friends. I also care for my 93-year-old father who has been a phenomenal teacher to me!  I love to travel and learn about different parts of the world’s culture and delicious foods.  I also enjoy playing board and card games.

I am honored to be a recipient of the Endeavor CDA scholarship program E is for Excellent, which enabled me to pursue my CDA certification with ChildCare Education Institute’s online Self-Study CDA program.  The materials presented were very detailed and informative.  My education coach and the entire CCEI staff were knowledgeable and supportive throughout my journey.  I loved that CCEI’s online coursework allowed me to work full time, care for my family and study at my own pace.  I currently use CCEI to maintain my annual professional development courses as well.  I would refer CCEI to my colleagues and anyone looking to pursue online studies in ECE.  I will always support, teach, love, and encourage children!